Blog Archives

Trees Expand Into Our Future!

Trees hold your ground!

Trees quietly improve your top soil through leaf, branch and bark shedding and decomposition.

Trees are living fountains, transpiring enormous quantities of water from the soil extracted daily by the roots, cooling your environment on hot days.  A large oak tree can transpire 500+ gallons of water, on a hot day,  into the atmosphere, while only needing 1 gallon for all the leaves to photosynthesize throughout the day.

Trees give you protection from erosion, often absorbing and holding 1 to 2 inches of rain in its branches and leaves before  saturation is reached in the tree canopy.  The root network below the soil surface, with “tree mulch’ produced by the tree on top of the soil, softens the impact that rain has on the landscape. Water absorption by a single tree may even retain up to 100 %  of normal rainfall on site!

Trees are light seeking, gravity opposing, soil stabilizing, cleaning the air while giving you oxygen as a free gift, cleaning, filtering and protecting your water resources in streams and aquifers along with providing  fruit and the stunning beauty all that trees add  to your environment, enriching your life along with wildlife habitat! oak

Trees need to be maintained and cared for to improve health, branch structure, safety and light penetration into the interior.  Inside branches die from not receiving enough light for production of tree “food” by photosynthesis.  Whole branches can die.

Trees provide a host site for myriad numbers of microscopic organisms.  We don’t really see or recognize  much of the complexity and inter-dependent relationships that trees have with the  natural world around us.  As Dr. Alex Shigo so often simply stated, “Touch Trees!”  Then we will connect and appreciate them for their contribution to our lives!

Trees have a limited-life span, but their roots constantly seek to obtain essential minerals (much more than just N. P. K.) and water they need to survive. If you analyze the ash from burning firewood, 50% of the volume of ash is calcium and it is heavily used throughout the tree for cell strength and structure.

Tree “abuse” most often starts in the nursery where small trees are cut to have abnormal fast growth responses and the lower limbs are removed.  This often creates sunburn on the south and west side of the tree when planted, while the roots are trapped inside plastic buckets have no way for the roots to expand naturally.  Bare root trees are best to plant when available or even trees grown from seed where possible.

Construction, human or animal compaction damage, adding hard scape, trenching and raising the soil level is especially damaging. Tree roots need air to breath as much as they need water.  Trees and roots may die of suffocation from lack of air,  if soil is added on top of the root zone,  the original root system can be damaged causing a much weaker secondary root system to grow.  Many trees will also die if roots are kept too wet in flooded soil.  Decline and death is often the result sometimes a few years later.  The damage has been done over time!  Tree bark cannot take soil contact and the root flare needs to be excavated for safety,  to determine root health and to let the tree b r e a t h e!

It takes knowledge and experience knowing what to look  for in tree selection and the best care for trees that need help. As an I.S.A. Certified Arborist, I can assist you in this process with practical guidance.  Unfortunately, there is a point when I am called,  it may be the last resort.  At this point the damage may be too extensive and long-term for treatments that may have worked earlier but cannot have the desired effects and benefits because the tree food storage reserves may have been already depleted.  I will advise and do the best possible work I can to help your trees.

Trees can be reduced in height naturally by crown reduction to lateral branches that can support and re-direct tree growth.  About 25% of the tree can be reduced as a general rule.  More than that can be detrimental, especially on older mature trees.  If you see topping or ugly tree work, leaving only stubs while removing all leaf surface and branches, the tree will never be the same.  The tree roots are still trying to do their job but may be compromised.  While a tree may be re-structured over time, it will not have the same beauty or strength and character as before the “attack”.  Every wound or cut made on the tree stays with the tree for it’s entire life. Topping causes sprouts to grow that  are not structurally attached to the tree and often can fail as the sprouts grow into large upright branches.  This can create a dangerous situation where there is a target below a redwood tree, for example, that has been topped.  This is due to their size, height and being topped.

Our caring for trees contributes to their longevity which will enable them to outlive us and benefit future generations!

See “AVOID TOPPING:  IT COSTS TOO MUCH !”  here–   By Emery Dann

Thank you for reading!